The European Council decided to start accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova. Council President Charles Michel said that Georgia had been granted candidate state status. “This is a victory for Ukraine. A victory for all of Europe. A victory that motivates, inspires and strengthens,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on social media.
European Council President Charles Michel informed on Thursday on X (formerly Twitter) that during the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, a decision was made to start accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova.
In addition, the European Council granted Georgia candidate status.
“The European Union will enter into negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina as soon as the necessary degree of compliance with membership criteria is achieved, and has asked the Commission to submit a report by March that would enable such a decision to be taken. This is a clear sign of hope,” Michel stressed. And for our continent.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the European Council’s decision. “This is a victory for Ukraine. A victory for all of Europe. A victory that motivates, inspires and strengthens,” he wrote on the X platform.
Zelensky said in another post: “Thank you to everyone who worked to make this happen and to everyone who helped. I congratulate every Ukrainian on this day.” He added, “I also congratulate Moldova and personally the President of Moldova, Mai Sandu.”
“History is made by those who are not bored with the struggle for freedom,” he wrote.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this was “a day that will go down in the history of our Union.” “We are proud that we have delivered on our promises and are happy with our partners,” she wrote on the X platform.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also commented on the European Council’s decision on Facebook. “26 member states strongly stressed the need to take such a decision, so Hungary decided that if 26 decided, it should go its own way. Hungary does not want to be part of this bad decision and that is why it has moved away from this decision.” This decision is made today.” – he said, quoted by Reuters.
As senior EU diplomats told reporters in Brussels, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was “temporarily absent” when the decision was made to start accession talks with Ukraine. The sources also confirm that this “absence” was previously agreed upon “in a constructive manner.”
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed the information regarding Orban’s absence during the vote on Ukraine.
None of the leaders opposed these decisions
As senior EU diplomats told reporters, none of the leaders gathered at the meeting opposed these decisions.
Before the start of the summit, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that his country adhered to its opposition to starting accession talks with Ukraine. He justified his position by pointing out that Ukraine – according to Budapest – had only met three of the seven conditions set by the European Union before starting accession negotiations, which means that there are no grounds for starting such talks with Kiev.
Orban then met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who convinced the Hungarian leader to change his position.
Main image source: European Union
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